July 10, 2008
Legislation would open
the door to more billboards along
Legislature poised to reverse key parts of state billboard restrictions; groups ask state House and Gov. Granholm to kill it
Lansing – Legislation killing billboard control measures could mean thousands more billboards along Michigan’s scenic highways and byways, and should be rejected by the State House of Representatives and/or Gov. Granholm, said the Michigan Environmental Council and Scenic Michigan today.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed legislation in 2006 establishing a cap on
billboards, saying at the time that “
“We expect the governor to be consistent in her commitment to
SB 1370 was
apparently written on behalf of one politically connected
n Reverse hard fought 1999 spacing requirements for billboards. The 1,000-foot minimum space between signs on federal highways would be shortened to 500 feet. The 500-foot spacing minimum on primary highways would be reduced to 300 feet.
n Would allow holders of on-premise signs to convert their permits to off-premise signs; paving the way for relocation and clustering of billboards all across the state.
n Remove the prohibition on upgrading of “grandfathered” billboards that don’t comply with the newer laws – essentially removing them from the planned obsolescence that a 1999 law created, and paving the way for making them bigger and electronically digitized.
n Allow an unlimited number of small billboards for religious organizations and service clubs.
“The intent of my 1999 legislation was clearly that nonconforming billboards be phased out,” Stille said. “If the pending legislation gives those signs permanent status, it is a reversal of that law, and a significant change in policy. I would certainly not be supportive of that change.”
The legislation is expected to be considered as early as July 16 by the House of Representatives when legislators return for session.